SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The state's proposal to pick up the tab for prosecuting the accused Golden State Killer, known locally as the East Area Rapist, passed its first committee hearing Monday.
Assembly Bill 141 would create the "Justice Act of 2019 for the Reimbursement of County Costs Arising from the Matter of the People v. Joseph DeAngelo" in order to reimburse Sacramento County and several other counties prosecuting the 73-year-old. It's expected the cost could top $20 million. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted in December to ask for help with the costs.
To qualify for reimbursement, the counties would need to send a statement of costs to the Controller within 12 months of being incurred. Those costs could include: trial preparation, pretrial hearing, actual trial, expert witness fees, cost of prejudgment appeals, and execution of the sentence. The Controller would then need to authorize or deny payments within 60 days.
DeAngelo is accused of killing at least 13 people (two in Sacramento County, four in Santa Barbara County, four in Orange County, two in Ventura County, and one in Tulare County), raping at least 50 women, and burglarizing more than 100 homes from 1974-1986. DeAngelo is not charged with the rapes and burglaries due to California's statute of limitations.
The Golden State Killer's crimes occurred in at least 11 counties, including Sacramento, Stanislaus, Yolo, and Contra Costa. All charges are being prosecuted in Sacramento County through the combined efforts of the District Attorneys in Orange, Ventura, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties. The County of Sacramento provided Joseph DeAngelo an attorney at the County's expense. The public defender or court-appointed attorney would also be allowed to apply for reimbursement, including training in the investigation, prosecution, and defense of the suspect.
Existing law "authorizes a county that is responsible for the cost of a trial or trials or any hearing of a person for the offense of homicide to apply to the Controller for reimbursement of excessive costs incurred by the county under specified circumstances. Under existing law, if the Controller determines that reimbursement is proper, the Controller is required to request the Director of Finance to include any amounts necessary to fulfill reimbursement in a request for deficiency appropriation."
If California doesn't pick up part of the tab, it's expected that other critical services in Sacramento County would be endangered.
DeAngelo was arrested April 24, 2018 at his home in Citrus Heights. The Navy veteran and former police officer was linked to crimes attributed to the East Area Rapist, the Golden State Killer, the Original Night Stalker, and the Visalia Ransacker.
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